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Showing posts from October, 2012

Very Bad Men

Receptionist: "How do you write women so well?"
Melvin: "I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability."
                                                           --As Good as it Gets (1997)

When inventing a character of my own sex, I find I have limitless amounts of inspiration. As a woman, I can draw qualities from myself or from my sisters and close friends. I can reflect on other female fictional characters with whom I have felt a connection. But when it comes to creating men, I have found it involves a good deal more work. Because ultimately, they are a strange species whom I do not understand.

Creating male characters who are good guys is somewhat of a challenge, but it's the bad guys—those terrible men who make life hell for my (mostly) female protagonists that are the hardest to create. It's so easy to create that one-dimensional misogynist who gets off on causing pain and is bad just because he's always been that way. You'd b…